Since our trip to Japan a few years ago I have been fascinated with the Japanese art of Kinsokuroi. The art of repairing broken ceramics using gold with the belief that something that suffers damage becomes more beautiful through the process.

This art form began in mid-1500 in Japan. The story is told of a bowl that was much loved by a military ruler. One day during a gathering, a servant accidentally dropped the bowl, which broke into five pieces. Everyone paused, fearing for the young man as the military leader was known to possess a quick, harsh temper. Then one of the guests improvised a comic poem about the incident, provoking laughter all around and restoring the leader to good spirits.

This story goes on to say that instead of the break "…diminishing (the bowl's) appeal, a new sense of its vitality and resilience raised appreciation to even greater heights." The bowl had become more beautiful for having been broken. The true life of the bowl "…began the moment it was dropped…"

From that day onward, mended bowls have been used and cherished for generations. In Japan, cracks in precious bowls are often filled with gold. The Japanese believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.

I find this concept truly beautiful, perhaps someday I will own a beautiful kintsukuroi piece as well.

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